Emil D. Schultheisz passed away on Wednesday August 18, 2021, at Chestnut Knoll Personal Care and Memory Care. He was 94 years old.
Emil was born on September 22,1926 to Mary and Daniel Schultheisz in Steelton, PA. He always enjoyed the outdoors, often roaming miles from home with his friends to fish and swim. He started working part time as a boy and his jobs included delivering papers and helping in his father’s tailor shop. In his teens, he worked for a small local potato chip company and continued to help his father, often operating a steam press. When war came in 1941, he found additional work driving a mail truck, also working at the local steel mill during the summer.
Throughout his youth, Emil developed a passionate interest in art, and was known to sequester himself in the attic for hours, practicing drawing. For a time, he thought he might pursue a career as a comic strip artist. After graduating high school, he joined the Navy before turning 18 and was a crewman on a landing ship headed to Japan when the war ended. He was discharged into the Navy reserves.
After the war, Emil took advantage of the GI Bill and went to art school, first at the Maryland Institute, then at Pratt, in Brooklyn, NY. He saw things he never knew about as a boy growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania, and he would soon see more. In 1950, he was called back to active duty in the Navy and served on a destroyer which saw action. On leave in Japan, he found the art fascinating, and bought all he could afford. After his discharge, he immediately began looking for work as a commercial artist.
Emil boarded a train for New York with a connection in Philadelphia. During the layover, he decided to show his portfolio to local art studios. He was offered a position immediately and began building his life as a commercial artist in Philadelphia.
In 1953, he met Margaret Nash, a registered nurse working in Philadelphia, and in 1954, they were married. They went on to raise four children and were together until Margaret’s death in 2005.
Emil’s love for learning led to him becoming accomplished at every facet of the advertising business, and in 1960, he accepted a position as art director at a suburban advertising agency, moving his family to Skippack. In 1970 he and Jim Kennedy started SK Advertising in Pottstown, continuing their partnership until Emil’s retirement in the early 1990s.
His sense of civic duty led him to serve on the Perkiomen Valley School board during the difficult period in the early 1970s when the district was growing and required the building of a new high school. He also took joy in applying his art skills in unique ways, creating novel costumes for the local youngsters to wear in the Halloween parade. His Charlie Brown characters were a hit, but when he dressed up several small children as cereal boxes and the wind picked up, they almost turned into box kites!
Emil’s love of the outdoors and history led to family camping trips which combined both. The family traveled through New England into Canada and west to the Grand Canyon, sometimes with other relatives in tow. Emil always found good camping, beautiful scenery, and interesting museums. As empty nesters, he and Margaret continued traveling and visited Alaska, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. They were frequently able to combine their love of square dancing with camping trips. Emil also became an avid skier and enjoyed whitewater rafting.
When Margaret died in 2005 after a long illness, it was very hard on Emil and he was very fortunate to find a friend in Audrey Coffman, who would become his wife. With Audrey’s encouragement, Emil rediscovered his love of dance and travel, visiting China and Europe.
Emil was a devout Christian and was active in churches throughout his life, often delivering the sermon when a pastor wasn’t available. He was a friend to all, and never had a bad word to say about anyone.
Emil is preceded in death by his parents, Daniel and Mary Schultheisz; his brother, Robert Schultheisz; and his first wife, Margaret Nash Schultheisz.
He is survived by his wife, Audrey; brother, Richard; children, Mary Joan, Kathryn, Elizabeth, and David; his grandchildren, Sophia and Karl; his great grandson, Otto; numerous nieces and nephews; and many whose lives he touched and considered friends.
No service is scheduled at this time. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (https://alzfdn.org/). And in memory of Emil’s life long love of ice cream, think of him the next time you enjoy your favorite scoop. The family also wishes to thank the staff at Chestnut Knoll for their kindness and loving acceptance of Emil into their care family.